Octopus Fan Ban Ridiculous

It’s a ritual every April in Detroit during the playoffs.

No, not the tossing of octopus on the ice as that seems to happen all season long now. It’s the controversy that erupts when the NHL steps in to to curtail the amount of not-so fresh seafood takes flight and lands on the ice at Joe Louis Arena.

This year things have gotten a bit more high profile thanks to a report on Deadspin about a Wings fan who was allowed to enter the arena showing the arena staff that he had an octopus in his possession to then toss on the ice. Problems erupted for him moments later as he was then kicked out of the game and given a citation and fined $500 for living up to the annual tradition.

NHL spokesman had this to say: “NHL security did not direct that this person be arrested or ejected. We do have a prohibition against throwing things to the ice surface since this may cause a delay in game or injury to players or others working on the ice surface.”

Well that doesn’t tell us anything. As far as we’ve ever heard, octo-goo has never led to any injuries of any kind at all. That’s not to say it can’t happen, but after 59 years, I think we’ve got enough of a sample size to say that the chances of something happening is pretty slim.

As a Wings fan, this is a direct slap in the face to the franchise. I was at the game that this happened, I saw the guy run down the stairs and toss the octopus onto the ice as Karen Newman finished up the national anthem. The crowd loved it. They roared louder than they did for the Wings intro (it was pretty bad to be honest, so we won't go there). So I really don't understand what the problem is.

Really, the Red Wings website has it in their history section and they directly market the octopus during the playoffs.

On top of that, the NHL was ballsy enoguh to make a rule limiting Al Sobotka’s famed octopus swings, which are putting a damper on a great sports tradition. During the first round a few years ago, NHL officials declared that Sobotka would be fined if he picked an octopus off the ice and swung it on the ice.

This is where the NHL sucks. They take a great tradition like the Octopus and ruin it for the fans of the Red Wings. There are other examples of this, like rats at the Panthers games in 1996. Did they tell them to stop? Nope. Probably because it made a few fans for Florida. Which is a good thing, NHL, not a bad one. Fans are good. Fans are what give you money. And pissing them off isn't the thing you want to do, which you effectively did with Detroit.

One of the best things to see is that thing flying through the air. Like I said, the fans love it. I love it. So the NHL really pissed me off with blindside, just like they did with stopping Al swing them around, which he did last night anyways. It just goes to show you that no matter what the NHL does you can't kill a tradition.

This is not a huge issue. It's just funny how it got to be like this, because the NHL had to stick their nose in it. Notice how I said that the fan literally showed the octopus to the arena personnel? Then they proceeded to say that it was OK? And then when he asked an usher when he should do it, the guy told him to just run down at the end of the anthem and go straight back to his seat, which he did. And then the NHL officials waved their fingers.

It was very amusing to hear fans calling into the local radio station bashing the NHL for looking into this rather than put their resources into something more worthwhile. The NHL sounds like Sidney Crosby after a hat trick. Let the fans be fans. And screw Gary Bettman. That is all.

I would love to debate the issue so please comment.

Kyle Busch


Eric Huffman's picture

As a Detroiter and Wings fan, this is absolutely ridiculous to me. Let the seafood fly!

Red Wing Gal's picture

It's unbelievable that the NHL (read Gary Bettman) is pulling this kind of stunt. It should be beneath them. But, alas, nothing is beneath Bettman. Would it be possible to flood the NHL offices with the fan responses to his latest stunt? I'd bet that even other fans would participate. On some boards/pages I belong too, there are many fans of other teams that don't understand this move. I would be more than willing to call them or email them on a regular basis!

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

There's no way of stopping that happening. Game 2 just happened. 3 octopi flew onto the ice. Fans win.

George Prax's picture

I don't think you'll find anyone disagreeing with you on this Kyle, it's completely and utterly ridiculous and there's no reason for it.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

That's what I mean, but like you said, no one should disagree. Clearly the NHL does. That's the issue. I mean who the hell makes these decisions? Is it just Bettman? Because that just makes me hate him even more. The big eared idiot.

George Prax's picture
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

That's what I mean, but like you said, no one should disagree. Clearly the NHL does. That's the issue. I mean who the hell makes these decisions? Is it just Bettman? Because that just makes me hate him even more. The big eared idiot.

NHL officials don't count as normal people. People in Winnipeg are already buying their tickets and now there's word that he's going to make a "last minute effort" to keep the team in Phoenix. What's hilarious is that at this point you'd have to imagine that the other owners are caving in to the move, since its their money going to the team now, but this joker is STILL trying to keep the team in the desert. Bettman can't be a real person.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Bettman is a hoax. The fact that he's trying to sell Phoenix for like 160M is unbelievable. They're losing money like crazy as it is. Who would want that mess?